Irish Language Blog

Vocabulary Round-up for the “Tearanódón” Blog (An Éan É? …) Posted by on Jun 30, 2013 in Irish Language

(le Róislín)

This blog will take a closer look at some of the vocabulary used in the most recent pteranodon-themed blog, “An Éan É?  An Reiptíl É?  An Dineasár É?  Bhuel, Ní Hea, ‘Sea, agus Ní Hea,” with some pronunciation tips and guidelines for using the words in other forms and phrases (nasc don bhlag: )

ann [ahn, sometimes pronounced with an “ow” sound as in “clown” or “down”], in it, in existence; sampla: Drochlá atá ann.  It’s a bad day that’s in it, i.e. The weather is bad.

béarlagair [BAYR-luh-girzh], jargon, and word-wise, yes, this is a distant cousin of “Béarla,” which is the Irish word for “English language”

casta [KAHSS-tuh], complicated, or simply “turned” or “twisted,” from the verb “cas” (turn, twist)

ciaróg [KEE-uh-rohg], beetle; the subject of a favorite Irish proverb: Aithníonn ciaróg ciaróg eile (“One beetle recognizes another beetle,” more or less like saying “Birds of a feather flock together”).  Of course, there’s yet another way to express the same sentiment: Is bách (iad) lucht aon cheirde.

cineál de [KIN-yawl djeh], kind of, type of; a related word, the adjective “cineálta” means “kind,” “pleasant,” or “mild”

ciúin [KYOO-in, that’s “kyoo” as in “cute” or “acute”], quiet, silent.  Adding “-e” makes the plural ending

cleití [KLETCH-ee], feathers; you might have seen the singular form of this in “ainm cleite” (pen-name, lit. name of quill or feather)

i mbéal na ndaoine [im-AYL-nun-EEN-yuh], widely spoken of, lit. in the mouth of the people; here the word “béal” (mouth) is eclipsed with the letter “m,” making the “b” silent, and “daoine” is eclipsed with the letter “n,” making the “d” silent

iarmhír [eer-veer], suffix; since this is a compound word, the stress is almost equal on the two syllables (instead of emphasizing the first syllable, which is the most typical pattern in Irish)

iolra [IL-ruh], plural; based on the word “iolar,” a somewhat literary word for “multitude” or “abundance;” the word “iolar” has a fairly everyday homonym, also written as “iolar” (needless to say), which means ” eagle.”

leithéid [LEH-haydj] like, equal, counterpart; with “de,” it means “the likes of”; one of the most classic lines in Modern Irish is “Ní bheidh ár leithéidí aríst ann!” (The likes of us will never be in it / exist again!)

Mh’anam [WAHN-um]! My soul!  Indeed! (used as an interjection); the main reason for the unusual lenition of “mo,” to become “mh’,” is probably the simple fact that it is so widely used.  Most people would probably say “m’anam” if they were actually talking about their souls.

nead [nyad], nest.  Yes, this is even used for a “mare’s nest” (speaking of things that don’t exist!), for which there are at least two terms in Irish: a) nead gogaille gó, and b) nead gearráin (literally, a nag’s nest, but I guess it’s close enough)

nithe [NIH-huh], things (not as widely used as “rudaí” but nevertheless important)

pailé-ointeolaí [PAL-yay-INTch-ohl-ee], paleontologist; na pailé-ointeolaithe, the paleontologists, na bpailé-ointeolaithe, of the paleontologists

saineolaithe [SAN-YOHL-ih-huh], experts

sealbhach [SHAL-uh-vukh], possessive; the “-a” ending makes it plural: sealbhacha

taighde [TAI-djuh, that’s ‘tai” sounding like “aisle” or “tie” or “eye”], research

téamamhrán [TchAYM-OW-rawn], theme-song, a compound word where the original final “-a” of “téama” overlaps with the initial “a-” of “amhrán

teireasár [TchERzh-uh-sawr], pterosaur, literally, “winged-lizard”

uatha [OO-uh-huh, the “t” is silent], singular, related to other words like “uathadh” (small number, a few) and another fairly literary word, “uathaigh” (make or become few, lessen)

ucht-tuismitheoirí [UKHT-TISH-mih-horzh-ee], adoptive parents; “uchtaigh” means “adopt,” related to “ucht” (chest, lap), and some other derived, if remotely related, words like “uchtbhalla” (parapet),” “uchtbhorrthóir” (chest-expander), and “uchtach” (a stomacher or a plastron).  Closer to the main point, we have “uchtleanbh” and “leanbh uchtaithe” (adopted child), “uchtmhac” and “mac uchtaithe” (adopted son), “uchtiníon” and “iníon uchtaithe” (adoptive daughter), and “uchtaí” (adoptee).  Or, in the case of “Buddy” of Dinosaur Train, we could say “ucht-ghearrcach nide” or “gearrcach nide uchtaithe” (adopted nestling).  Hmmm, come to think of it, I usually imagine gearrcaigh nide (nestlings) as being birds, or at least, winged creatures.  Buddy isn’t, being a baby Tyrannosaurus Rex.  But, since he hatched in a nest, I guess he could be considered a “nestling,” as long as we remember not to call him a “scalltán” (fledgling), since neither wings nor flying are involved.  Tricky, though, because “gearrcach” can also mean “fledgling” and “scalltán” can also mean “nestling.”  Adding “nide” (of a nest) emphasizes the “nest” aspect as opposed to the “fledge” aspect.

The bottom line?  Even when we’re talking about things that never existed (“teireadachtalaigh” as such) and things that no longer exist (tearanódóin), we can still work in lots of vocabulary, grammar, and the odd seanfhocal nó dhóSGF, Róislín

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
Keep learning Irish with us!

Build vocabulary, practice pronunciation, and more with Transparent Language Online. Available anytime, anywhere, on any device.

Try it Free Find it at your Library
Share this:
Pin it

Leave a comment: